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Tue, Feb 19, 2013

Three GA Airplanes Caught In Presidential VIP TFR

Fighter Jets Intercept Two Cessnas And A Lancair Near Florida Resort

A visit by President Barack Obama to Port St. Lucie, FL, over the weekend resulted in three GA airplanes having encounters with NORAD F-16 fighter jets after they strayed into the restricted area around a resort where the President was staying.

The first was a Cessna 152 that was intercepted at about 1155 EST Saturday. On its Facebook page, NORAD said that "an Air Force F-16 and U.S. Coast Guard helo flying under the direction of CONR intercepted a Cessna 152 General Aviation aircraft near Port St. Lucie, FL. CONR aircraft intercepted the Cessna after it had entered the Federal Aviation Administration’s Temporary Flight Restricted area over Palm City. Following the intercept, the GA aircraft landed at a nearby airport where it was met by local law enforcement."

Later Saturday, NORAD posted that a Lancair 320 had been greeted by the fighters. "Today at approximately 5:10 p.m. EST two CONR F-16's intercepted a Lancair 320 General Aviation aircraft that was not in communications with air controllers (referred to as NORDO or No Radio Contact) near Port St. Lucie, FL. CONR fighters intercepted the GA aircraft after it had entered the Federal Aviation Administration’s Temporary Flight Restricted area over Palm City. Following the intercept, the GA aircraft was escorted out of the TFR and allowed to continue on."

The third airplane was also a Cessna. A posting on the Facebook page for the 601st Air and Space Operations Center, known as "America's AOC," indicates that "at approximately 9:30 a.m. EST (Sunday), a CONR F-16 intercepted a Cessna 206 General Aviation aircraft near Lake Okeechobee, FL. CONR fighters intercepted the GA aircraft after it had entered the Federal Aviation Administration’s Temporary Flight Restricted area over Palm City. Following the intercept, the GA aircraft left the TFR and landed at a nearby airfield." The pilot of that plane was also reportedly interviewed by authorities.

The President was in Florida to play golf over the weekend. Media sources report that he was joined by Tiger Woods for a round on Sunday.

FMI: www.norad.mil

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